Many clients look to CPAs as the natural choice to fulfill the trustee role, manage the assets, and carry out client wishes. For CPAs good at managing and minimizing the unique risk attributes of a trustee role, trustee work can be satisfying and rewarding. On the other hand, if a CPA underestimates trusteeship risk, what may appear to be a safe and simple role can become a Pandora's box of sibling rivalries, aging parental battles, competing interests, disruptive lawsuits, and financial losses.
CPAs are often so busy that they don't recognize or acknowledge a potential claim as it is developing. This can be particularly devastating when the damages claimed are significant and are not covered because of late reporting. It's important to pay attention to potential issues and to report them as soon as there may be a problem.
Problems arising from billing and collections practices have often plagued CPA firms. But by taking a few basic steps, firms can avoid or manage such problems. Further, those same steps will help firms improve the quality of their practices, attract a better client base, generate more fees and improve cash flow. Many of those steps should begin in advance of a client engagement.